By John Iwori
No fewer than 37 bags of cannabis have been seized by men and officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), the Customs Area Controller (CAC), Western Marine Command (WMC), Comptroller Yusuf Umar has said.
The seizure of the cannabis, according to the CAC, is the third one WMC was recording in the last four months.
“You are here to witness another seizure of cannabis sativa, making it the third in the last four months. This time around the seizure was made at the Agbara/Badagry axis by our patrol team after we got an intelligence report the previous day that some unscrupulous elements were about entering our country with the cannabis from Ghana. We therefore swung into action and arrested the boat while the suspects as usual jumped into the water to evade arrest”, he said.
Umar explained that the patrol team comprising men and officers of WMC waited for a while to see if they would swim up but to no avail.
“The officers had to bring the cannabis to the base, hence no suspects were arrested. The cannabis was packed in 37 jumbo bags worth N130, 000, 000”, he added.
Giving an insight on what exploits of the command so far, Umar said: “So far we have recorded seizures valued at N393, 094, 300.00) with duty paid value (DPV) of N399, 632, 075”.
The CAC vowed that his command would continue to fight smuggling activities as long as the smugglers refused to turn away from their nefarious activities.
He expressed appreciation to the Comptroller General of Customs, Colonel Hammed Ibrahim Ali (retired) and the management of NCS for being “very supportive and focused” on the campaign against eradicating smuggling throughout the country.
“This support has been the force of motivation for officers and men of the command”, he said.
In a related development, the Kano/Jigawa Customs Command, has impounded assorted contraband goods valued at N20 million. The Comptroller of the command, Comptroller Mathias Abutu who made the disclosure in Kano said that the seized goods were discovered in a bush, where they were stored in a warehouse in Malam Madori town, close to Maigatari, a border town between Nigeria and Niger Republic.
He described Malam Madori town as a “volatile place” fraught with difficulties for men and officers of Customs to make seizures due to the uncompromising attitude of the villagers.
According to him, Malam Madori is a volatile area difficult for our officers to operate but the command was able to make “the big haul’’ due to the unrelenting efforts of its field officers, who were determined to rid Kano and Jigawa of smugglers.
Giving an insight into the strides the command has made in recent times, Abutu said: “We have been making a lot of seizures.
But this is a spectacular one. Apart from the volume of the goods involved, it was a very difficult task. My officers went through hell to get this seizure. My officers were able to convey the goods with the assistance of the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police”.
He listed the items seized to include 680 cartons of Eva Soap and 367 cartons of Balman suitcases.
Others are 80 bales of second hand clothes and 20 cartons of Macroni with the inscription ”OBA GOLD, all valued at N20 million.